Change is often difficult. We tend to get comfortable in the way we’ve always done things. Then there’s the fear of making a bad decision, which can cloud our judgment. That’s why it’s important to carefully consider the advantages and disadvantages when expanding or upgrading your CNC machine capabilities.
Many CNC machine shops are looking for new markets to serve, new parts to make and new opportunities to grow their business. However, much of these opportunities hinge on the shop’s ability to perform increasingly more precise and complex machining operations at competitive prices. Additionally, many customers require shorter runs, the ability to handle large part families and the flexibility to produce a variety of parts. For machine shops that have long relied on vertical machining centers (VMC), it may be time to consider the advantages of a horizontal machining center (HMC).
Factory floor space is often one of your most valuable assets so, naturally, you want to make every square foot as dollar productive as possible. Which means that if you frequently machine multi-sided parts, you should consider making your next CNC machine tool investment a horizontal machining center (HMC). The reason is quite simple: In many cases one horizontal machining center replaces multiple vertical machining centers (VMC).
CNC machining centers come in two basic types; horizontal and vertical. The difference between the two types is the orientation of the spindle. Generally speaking vertical CNC machining centers favor precise work, and are usually your first acquisition due to their relatively low-cost. Horizontal CNC machining centers, on the other hand, lend themselves to production, and can be a higher-end purchase.